My wife and I wanted a short break during our Marrakech holiday and decided to book a two night stay in Riad bab Essaouira. This turned out to be a fantastic decision and we wish that we had arranged more time in Essaouira. The riad is located in the middle of the old medina, some 5 min away from the beach, positioned in a quite side street; there was little noise in the daytime and absolutely none at night. We had booked the room at the top of the house which comprised of a large double bed, on-suite WC/shower, sitting area, and included a large flat screen TV, it also had its own small private terrace with a couple of sun lounges. There is an additional larger roof terrace with surrounding sofas. The riad contains four floors with rooms on levels 1, 2 and 4 with a kitchen and sitting/dining area on level 3 (There is also a kitchen on the ground floor). All rooms in the Riad bab Essaouira are superb, but for a family or small group requiring perhaps three rooms it would be a dream. We are certainly considering this option for our next visit.
This house is typical of an old medina converted establishment, the building being tall and narrow, so you need to be able to climb a number of stairs to access your room, but the climb is worth it. The standard of cleanliness and the quality of the décor was first class and the level of service provided by the staff (Siad in particular) was outstanding, they just couldn't do enough for us. Breakfast was served efficiently and excellent in quality and quantity. We constantly felt that it was a privilege to be a quest. The location of the riad is ideal for everything, from restaurants, bars, markets, beach, and the fishing port, although you must appreciate that it is within the city walls and so cars/trucks are excluded (Nearest car park is at the port, approximately 2-3 minutes walk).
Essaouira (Old city only. I cannot comment on the new city development) is a charming venue with an extensive souk, large sandy beach and a fantastic old active fishing port. If you like seafood, as we do, it is heaven! The quality of the seafood is superb, taken straight from the boats as they arrive and served as you request it. If seafood is not your choice then there are plenty of restaurants serving every other type of food you can imagine. Bars are plentiful where you can sit drinking your soft drink or tea/coffee for as long as you wish without hassle.
There are numerous sporting/leisure activities available, with windsurfing being the most popular.
It is our view that if you are looking for a relaxing break in a fabulous riad with unbelievably good food and service then Riad bab Essaouira would be our recommendation.